Dungannon ice cream thieves grateful for taste of freedom after walking free from court

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A pair of grateful ice cream thieves from Dungannon have been granted a taste of freedom after walking free from court with suspended prison sentences.

Louise McDonagh, 22, and John McDonagh, 23, made off with the selection of ice-creams after raiding the fridge of Greystones Stores, near Eglish.

Appearing at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, Louise McDonagh, from Main Street, Clogher, thanked the judge and promised not to get into trouble again, after he gave her a sentence of one month, suspended for two years.

She had pleaded guilty to stealing items worth £10 from the filling station.

Her co-defendant John McDonagh, with an address at University Street, Belfast, left the court with a loud cheer after he received a suspended sentence of three months. He had pleaded guilty to stealing an ice cream worth £2, as well as driving whilst disqualified and driving without a licence.

The court heard how the pair accompanied by an older man, who is facing separate charges, pulled into the filling station shortly after 1pm on July 3.

While John McDonagh was filling the car with diesel, Louise stole some groceries, and, after John had paid for the fuel, the pair then pocketed ice creams from the fridge on their way out of the store.

The shop owner subsequently passed their details to the police, who later that day stopped them on the Grosvenor Road, Belfast.

Both defendants identified themselves from the store CCTV footage and were arrested.

John McDonagh’s solicitor said that the theft had been a spur of the moment decision made under the influence of the older male accompanying them. McDonagh, who has a significant criminal record, waived his right to a pre-sentence report on the grounds that he had too many responsibilities including looking after his recently bereaved grandmother, his four-year-old son, and his sick partner, who is undergoing a bone marrow transport.

Louise McDonagh’s solicitor told the court that the defendant had no prior convictions and again had been acting under the influence of an older accomplice.